Lee Jong-kul, a senior Democratic United Party lawmaker, came under fire for using vulgar language to refer to Saenuri Party presidential contender Rep. Park Geun-hye.
Saenuri leader Rep. Hwang Woo-yea said Thursday that his party should consider referring the remarks to the National Assembly’s ethics committee. Women’s rights groups also condemned the remarks as demeaning to women.
The gaffe-prone member of the DUP Supreme Council wrote on his Twitter account last Sunday, “That b―― (is trying to) get away with (the scandal) without making an apology.”
He was referring to an escalating cash-for-nomination scandal within the ruling party.
“This case should be discussed at the parliamentary ethics committee and the committee should deliver its judgment on it,” Hwang said during the party’s decision-making Supreme Council meeting.
“The reported remarks that we cannot even say here (in the legislature) are infuriating the public.”
The remarks drew sharp criticisms from Internet users, particularly women, who called on Lee to make an official apology.
As the controversy raged on, Lee expressed “regret” but fell short of making a clear apology. He said that it was a typo resulting from difficulty using the small keypad on his iPhone, and that he did not intend to deprecate Park.
|Female members and lawmakers of the ruling Saenuri Party stage a rally to call for the resignation of Democratic United Party Rep. Lee Jong-kul for his vulgar remarks against Rep. Park Geun-hye in front of the National Assembly’s main building on Thursday. |
(Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)
Female lawmakers of the ruling party along with supporters of the former Saenuri leader Park staged a rally in front of the Assembly’s main building, denouncing Lee and demanding his resignation as a lawmaker.
The DUP is apparently baffled by the growing uproar against its member and trying to prevent any negative impact as it prepares for the December presidential election.
“The criticism against Lee apparently served as a chance for the supporters of Park to regroup ahead of the presidential election when she was struggling to deal with her party’s cash-for-nomination allegation,” a DUP member told media.
“It was a critical strategic mistake.”
Before the April general elections, the DUP experienced a drop in its support after one of its candidates came under fire for using inappropriate language during his Internet broadcasting program.
By Song Sang-ho (firstname.lastname@example.org)